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MODERN PASSENGER SCHEDULES AND THEIR DEVELOPMENT
WILLIAM LEE KLINK
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS
COLLEGE OF COMMERCE AND BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
.June..!., 191. .8.
THIS TS TO CERTIFY THAT THE THESIS PREPARED UNDER MY SUPERVISION BY
ENTITLED . . MODEHN. . PAS S£\CrER . .5 C SSD.ULES .MD..IHE.IB ..OEm.QHv^.^T.
IS APPROVED BY ME AS FULFILLING THIS PART OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF MC.HELQH..QF...ARTS.
instructor in Charge
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT OF IHAUSEQBIAT.ION....^)
I. INTRODUCTION 1-3
XX. EARLY PASSENGER SCHEDULES - 1830-1850 3-6
III. THE ERA OF EXTENSION OF EASTERN TRUNK LINES - 1850-1860 6-12
IV. IMPROVEMENTS AT THE TIME OF THE CIVIL WAR - 1860-1870 12-17
V. PASSENGER SERVICE AFTER THE WAR - 1870-1880 17-20
VI. SCHEDULES DURING THE EXPANSION OF 1880-1890 20-23
VII. EFFECT OF CONSOLIDATION - 1890-1900 23-26
VIII. DEVELOPMENT OF SPECIAL SERVICE - 1900-1910 . . . 26-31
IX. PRESENT TENDENCIES - 1910-1918 31-35
X. SOME PHASES OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF SECOND CLASS SERVICE 35-39
XI. CONCLUSION 39-47
MODERN PASSENGER SCHEDULES AND THEIR DEVELOPMENT
The development of passenger schedules is a subject which has re-
ceived very little consideration among writers on railroad economics in America.
It is true they have referred to this development from time to time in a sub-
sidiary way along with their priinary lines of discussion and argument, but
there seems to have been no attempt to take this subject by itself and to give
it general consideration from the pioneer days of railroad life to the present
Because of the lack of definite and adequate information on the sub-
ject, it is the purpose of this thesis to summarize the development of passen-
ger schedules by decades giving illustrations of such a number and character
as to show the significant changes that have come about.
In order to make effective use of illustrations, it is first neces-
sary to explain some of the technical terms used in connection therewith. The
two railroad terms, time-table and schedule, are used to a certain extent in-
discriminately by railway men and to a still greater extent by the public, per-
haps incorrectly so.
In the Standard Code of Train Rules of the American Railway Associa-
tion the time-table i3 defined as: "The authority for the movement of regular
trains subject to the rules. It contains the classified schedules of trains
with special instructions relating thereto." The schedule is defined as: "That
part of a time-table which prescribes class, direction, number and movement
for a regular train."*
In the parlance of the American Railway Association it ia readily
seen that the schedule i9 only a part of the time-table and hence cannot be
used at all times as a synonym for time-table.
It is not the purpose of this thesis to consider the schedule as
the train dispatcher treats it, namely in its relation to train orders, but
to investigate the actual changes that have come about from time to time which
have helped to mould the schedule into its present stage of development. As
passenger schedules alone are to be considered, only first class trains will
be taken into account since regular passenger trains are almost invariably
made first class trains. This fact is made evident by looking at an employees
time-table on a division of any of our typical American railroads. Second
and third class trains are usually manifest, time and way freight trains
respectively. Direction and schedule number of trains will enter only inci-
dentally. Chief consideration will be given to the movement and actual con-
sist or equipment of the train.
*See Standard Code of Train Rules of the American Railway Association,
p. 7, 8.
EARLY PASSENGER SCHEDULES - 1830-1850
The American railroad as we know it today date a from the year 1830
when the first 13 miles of the Baltimore and Ohio were opened for traffic.
At this time there were only 23 miles of line in America. During the period
1830-1840 numerous short lines were built until in 1840 there was a total
mileage of 2,818, the longest single line of which was the Charleston and
Hamburg, of 137 miles. * The lines were in general isolated and even when there
were junction points, interchange of equipment was uiknown. It follows from
these facts that the total distance any one train could run between terminals
was exceedingly short.
In 183? a train ran from Philadelphia to Harrisburg starting every
morning from the comer of Broad and Race Street via the Lancaster and Harris-
burg Railroad arriving at Harrisburg at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Passen-
gers transferred to the Canal Packets to be taken on toward Pittsburgh. The
entire distance from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh was covered in 3£ days. The
equipment of the train consisted of a locomotive and one eight-wheeled car.
The car resembled a stage coach very much but was somewhat larger. This il-
lustration is not only of interest because it gives an idea of the service
rendered by a typical American railroad during the 30' a but also because this
piece of railroad is now a very important link in the great Pennsylvania
The period 1840-1850 was not an active decade in railroad construction
Johnson and Van Metre, Principles of Railroad Transportation, p. 22, 25.
2 Johnson and Van Metre, Principles of Railroad Transportation, p. 36.
The Southern States did not build any road of importance, and only three im-
portant lines in the Central West had begun operation. In the southern part
of New England, however, the progress was greater, and many links of the
present trunk line system of that section were completed.**
By the close of this period passenger service was established in
the Middle West on the Michigan Central, which operated one train each way be-
tween Detroit and New Buffalo on the shore of Lake Michigan. From New Buffalo
connection was made with Chicago by steamboat.^ The Galena and Chicago Union
Railroad had two trains each way between Chicago, Elgin, and St. Charles. The
running time between Chicago and Elgin, 42 miles, was 3 hours and 10 minutes. 5
This road is now part of the Chicago and North Western Line.
In the East at this time service on the Erie Railroad was developed
to a greater extent than on any of the other three great trunk lines. Two
301 -mile schedules were operated each way between New York City and Corning,
New York, and two more were operated each way as far as Otisville and Port
Jervis. Trains made all station stops and required 16^ hours between New York
and Corning. 6
The Pennsylvania Railroad was at this time limited to the distance
of 97 miles between Lancaster and Lewistown. It had one train each way be-
tween these places and double service between Lancaster and Harrisburg. 7
In the New England States the Boston and Maine shows the greatest
development at this time. It ran three trains 111 miles each way between
Boston and Portland on 4 and 5 hour schedules. Eleven trains to and as many
^Johnson and Van Metre, Principles of Railroad Transportation, p. 26.
^American Railway Guide, April, 1850, p. 37.
5lbid., p. 38.
6 Ibid., p. 24.
7 Ibid., p. 11.
from Boston ran daily over this line: three each way between Boston and Port-
land; five each way between Boston and Haverhill, eight each way between
Boston and Lawrence; and eleven between Boston and Reading. Two trains each
way between Lawrence and Boston irade no intermediate stops.
The end of this period found the passenger service over the country
in general in more or less of an experimental stage except in the more estab-
lished sections of the country, New York and New England. The railroad had,
however, demonstrated its superiority over the canal for speedy transportation.
It could be constructed more cheaply than the canal and could also overcome
the difficulties imposed by climate and elevation.
°American Railway Guide, April, 1850, p. 73.
9 Johnson and Van Metre, Principles of Railroad Transportation, p. 27.
THE EM OF EXTENSION OF EASTERN TRUNK LINES - 1850-1860
The decade of the fifties was a very active one in railroad construc-
tion and likewise in the development of passenger service. Railroads were
coming into favor with people who traveled. They were rapidly displacing the
stage and steamboats in spite of the fact that for long trips several trans-
fers were usually necessary. The economic development of the country was
making such rapid progress as to demand more passenger transportation and
longer trips. Consequently several routes, such as the New York and Boston
Express Line, were established for the purpose of offering continued transpor-
tation over longer distances and between important commercial centers. These
routes which were composed of connecting lines* did not offer a through
route in the sense in which we use the term today but simply made possible the
transfer from one line to the next without the use of an intermediate agency
such as the stage or canal.
In order to discuss schedules further it is necessary to use the
terms accommodation train and express train. The accommodation train is the
train that makes all or nearly all station stops between its terminals. The
express train makes only the more important stops between its terminals or
may in extreme cases make no stops between terminals. The accommodation train
frequently takes the name, "local", since as a rule it makes only a short run
as well as all the stops within its run. The express train may travel any
distance which may be 5 or 10 miles in the case of express suburban trains or
2500 miles in the case of transcontinental trains.
♦See pages 7 & 8 infra.
In 1853 the New York and New Haven Railroad, now the moat important
division of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford, ran four accommodation
and two express trains between New Haven and New York, a distance of 76 miles,
and three accommodation and two express trains in the opposite direction.
Accommodation trains ran on 3 hour and 40 minute schedules and express trains
ran on 3 hour schedules. Express trains made three stops between terminals.
Five accommodation trains were operated out 30 to 40 miles from New York and
a like number into New York to take care of the short distance travel into
the city which later took the form of suburban traffic. Express trains were
run in the afternoon and evening. ^
The Boston and Providence Railroad, forming part of a through route
between Boston and New York, ran three accommodation trains and one express
train in each direction between Boston and Providence, 43| miles, on 1 3/4
and 1^ hour schedules respectively. The express train making only one inter-
mediate stop was for the accommodation of Boston-New York passengers, who were
carried via this line from Boston to Providence, then via the Stonington and
Providence Railroad to Stonington and then by steamboat to New York. The 50
mile distance from Providence to Stonington was covered in 1 hour and 45
minutes by the express train. Two accommodation trains were run in each
direction between these points on 2% hour schedules. By the above combination
of three lines including the water route from New York to Stonington one could
leave New York at 8 a.m. and arrive at Boston at 6:30 p.m. making a trip of
10i hours. In the opposite direction the train left Boston at 5 p.m. 11
10 Pathfinder Railway Guide, October, 1853, p. 42.
u Ibid., p. 21, 22.
Another through route consisted of the Boston and V/orcester Railroad
and the Western Railroad between Boston and Albany. This route is now that of
the Boston and Albany Railroad. The Boston and Worcester had three aceonmo-
dation and two express trains from Worcester to Boston, a distance of 45 miles.
They ran on 1 hour and 45 minute, and 1 hour and 20 minute schedules. There
was one more express train westbound. 12 Eight suburban trains ran out from
Boston in addition to these. This fact indicates that at this early date subur-
ban traffic had become of considerable importance at Boston.
The Western Railroad formed the connecting link between Worcester and
Albany, a distance of 156 miles; with three accommodation trains westbound
running on an eight hour schedule, and one express train on a 5 hour and 35
minute schedule. This train made connection with a train from Boston on the
Boston and Worcester. Thus is was possible for passengers to cover the 200
miles from Boston to Albany in 7 hours including the transfer. There were only
two accommodation trains and no express trains eastbound. 13
The marked difference in the service eastbound and westbound indi-
cates that there was a much lighter traffic in the eastbound direction. This
may be explained partly by the large amount of migration from thickly populated
New England toward the Great Lakes region at this time. Except for such move-
ments passenger traffic is characterized by the fact that it is nearly equal
in opposite directions. Also longer trains may have been operated eastbound.
An all-rail route called the New York and Boston Express Line was
in effect at this time consisting of a combination of the New York and New
12 Pathfinder Railway Guide, October, 1853, p. 32.
13 Ibid., p. 36.
Haven Railroad, New Haven, Hartford A Springfield R.R., Western Railroad, and
Boston and Worcester Railroad. This was one of the early exauples of the
through route. Two express trains were operated in each direction and covered
the distance of 236 miles by this line in eight hours. One train eastbound
ran on a 7^ hour schedule. This combination route represented a distinct
departure from the ordinary one-line, express-train route, and was without
doubt an answer in the form of through service to the increasing demands of
travelers for long distance transportation without the usual and undesirable
transfers and long waits at junction points. A through fare of $5 was quoted
at this time. 14
In 1858 the New York and New Haven still had only two express trains
in each direction but had increased the accommodation trains to six eastbound
and westbound. However, the running time of express trains was cut to 2 hours
and 5© minutes with one schedule ten minutes less. The accommodation trains
ran on 3 hour and 10, 15, 20, or 30 minute schedules. 15 This railroad still
formed part of the Boston and New York Express Line with its eight hour
in this same year the Western Railway in connection with the Boston
and Worcester had three accommodation trains running three each way between
Albany and Boston. The best time made by any of the trains was 7^ hours. 16
The through fare was $5 for the 200 miles the same as the New York-Eoston
fare where the distance was 34 miles greater.
At this time the Pennsylvania Central and its affiliated lines, the
14 Pathfinder Railway Guide, October, 1853, p. 39.
15 Appleton's Ry. and Steam Navigation Guide, October, 1858, p. 83.
^Ibid., p. 121.
Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago, Northern Indiana Railway and New Jersey
Railway had also formed a thru passenger route between Chicago and New York,
a distance of 910 miles. Two fast express trains were operated in each direc-
tion. The total running time between Chicago and Philadelphia was 39 hours
and between Chicago and New York 44 hours. Eastbound there was an alternative
connection at Philadelphia over the Camden and Amboy Railroad to New York.^
It required 2 hours longer to make the trip via this route because of a wait
for the Camden and Amboy train at Philadelphia and because of slower running
time than on the New Jersey Railroad.
Another very interesting and important development of this period
was that of various lines which now constitute part of the great New York
Central system. The Michigan Central was extended around the south end of the
lake from New Buffalo into Chicago in 1852. In 1853 the Michigan Southern
was built to Chicago. The first route opened for passenger service was that
of the combination of Michigan Central, Great Western Railway of Canada, New
York Central Railway and Hudson River Railroad. By 1858 there were three ex-
press trains eastbound making connections via the Michigan Southern and its
connecting line, the Lake Shore Route, with New York Central trains at Buffalo.
The Michigan Central had only two similar trains. 18
Three transfers of cars were necessary at this time via either
route. The distance between Chicago and New York via these routes was about
965 miles and the trip required 40 hours which was 4 hours less than was re-
quired over the Pennsylvania route. Two trains eastbound on the Western
Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, October, 1858, p. 56.
J Ibid., p. 68, 70.
Railway made connection with the New York Central trains at Albany for Boston
requiring 9 hours to go from Albany to Boston, 200 miles. A similar number
of trains and kind of service was offered to the westbound traffic.^
No dining car service was then in effect, and passengers on these
long journeys were permitted to get refreshments along the way at all the im-
portant stations and cities such as Michigan City, Toledo, Cleveland, Erie,
Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Albany and Poughkeepsie . 20
It is seen, then, that during this important decade was formed the
shell of America's two greatest trunk lines, the Pennsylvania and the New
York Central . Also several links of the New Haven System, which later became
so important in the industrial life of the New England States, were in opera-
tion at this time.
Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, October, 1858, p. 68.
'ibid., p. 68.
IMPROVEMENTS AT THE TIME OF THE CIVIL WAR - 1860-1870
This period is characterized as one of improved service and facili-
ties. While it was also a period of important railway construction, that fact
was very much overshadowed by the development of new types of equipment and
By 1862 the running time of express trains on the Pennsylvania
was cut to 37 hours Chicago to Philadelphia and 42 hours Chicago to New York.
Westbound, the whole time occupied from Philadelphia to Chicago was 35 hours.
The time from New York to Chicago was, via Philadelphia 40 hours and via Allen-
town and Reading 39 hours. 2 * Two transfers were necessary between terminals,
namely at Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
In the same year the Hudson River Railroad operated four express
trains in each direction between New York and Troy. In addition there were
five accommodation trains from New York as far as Poughkeepsie and two all the
way to Troy. 22
On the old Boston and New York Express Line there was one less ac-
commodation train each way and one more express train each way indicating an
increase in the proportion of longer trips to shorter trips and a desire for
greater speed. 23 Two years later one more express train was added eastbound
and two more westbound. The running time remained the same. 24
The New York Central route from Chicago to New York has always been
^Appleton' s By. & Steam Navigation Guide, Feb., 1862, p. 68.
22 lbid., p. 77.
23 Ibid. , p. 86.
24 Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, Oct., 1864, p. 94.
a road well adapted for passenger service on account of its excellent road-bed
equipment and scenic attractions. This is especially true of that portion of
the route along the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers. In connection with the Hudson
River Railroad there is a very interesting bit of advertising taken from an
old record 25 which was written as follows:
"This is considered one of the best managed roads in the United
States. The distance from New York to Troy is one hundred and fifty miles
and the average running time is thirty miles ver hour. Trains of thi3 road run
with an expedition, despatch, and regularity, not surpassed by any other in
the country. It winds along the banks of the Hudson River thru a scenery
which, for picturesque beauty, is not excelled by any in the Old or New World.
The immense business it has successfully handled since its first completion
and its almost entire exception from accidents and collisions speak volumes
in favor of its efficient, energetic and prudent management. One character-
istic of this road deserves especial mention. We refer to the system of sig-
nal flags introduced to secure safety from accidents in the running of trains.
Flagmen are stationed upon every mile of track, generally at the curves or
upon a slight acclivity when a view of the track from some distance can be
had. Upon the approach of a train, if all is clear ahead, the flagman displays
a white flag signal. If there be any obstruction in sight or a diminished
speed is required a red flag is displayed.
"The Hudson River Railway is one of the best constructed roads in
the country. The road-bed generally is thirty feet wide at the top, the pro-
tection wall is three feet in thickness and carried five feet above ordinary
Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, Feb., 1862, p. 76.
high tide. The rail weighs seventy pounds per yard and the outer rail in all
cases of exposure to the river is ten feet from the top of the wall affording
a wide margin for the washing of the bank and ample security against running
the cars into the river in case of accident. The thru fare never exceeds $3
which considering the distance and time saved is extremely low."
The above quotation was written in 1862. While it was only an
advertisement and possibly somewhat exaggerated, yet it does tend to show how
this famous 150 miles of railroad has pushed itself ahead of its competitors
and has built up the reputation which it now enjoys.
The signal system referred to above is of interest because signals
have for many years been an important advertising feature in the development
of passenger traffic. Here they were seen in their primitive form. The flag-
men stationed at regular intervals formed a crude block system which later
developed into the manual block-signal system only to be supplanted by the
automatic block system. Their signal system, crude as it was because it was
better than the signal system of its competitors was used as an advertising
measure the same as its automatic electric block signals and electric locomo-
tives have been used since.
The question may now arise as to what signals have to do with the
development of passenger schedules. A good block signal system may help de-
velop passenger schedules in two ways. First, signals make possible the
safe operation of trains at higher speeds because they keep the enginemen
informed as to track conditions immediately ahead. Thi3 fact makes it possible
to shorten the time of a schedule between terminals. Second, signals tend to
create more passenger business for the road using them and informing the public
of their use thru advertising. The public feels safer in traveling over a road
block-signaled than over one not block-9ignal ed and for this reason will
choose the road with the block signals, other things being equal. But by
choosing the road with the block signals the public i3 increasing the passenger
traffic of that road which will in turn make a demand for a larger number of
The other notable development of this era was that of special equip-
ment. The sleeping car as we know it today, originated with George M. Pullman,
who built the Pioneer A in 1864. 26 This car was first operated on the Chicago
and Alton Eailroad. Parlor cars at this time were used on trains making day
runs. In 1868 the first Pullman diner, the "Delmonico" was started on the
Chicago and Alton. 27 There was some attempt toward building vestibuled cars
but the first vestibuled train of the modern type was built by Pullman and run
on the Pennsylvania Eailroad in 1886. 28
By 1868 the Boston and Worcester and Western Hallways were consolid-
ated into the Boston and Albany Railway as it is known at present. 29 There
were then two express and two accommodation trains each way. The fastest ex-
press run A 7 hours and 25 minutes.
During the same year the Pennsylvania put another express train into
service between New York and Chicago. Besides the three express trains each
way between Chicago and Pittsburgh there was one local each way. 30 Between
Philadelphia and Pittsburgh there were the three fast trains each way and three
accommodation trains. There was a local suburban service of seven trains each
way out of Pittsburgh east and a suburban service of three trains eaoh way
Johnson and Van Metre, Principles of Eailroad Transportation, p. 63.
27 Johnson and Huebner, Eailroad Traffic and Bates, Vol. II, p. 97.
28johnson and Van Metre, Principles of Eailroad Transportation, p. 63.
29 Appleton's By. & Steam Navigation Guide, Aug., 1868, p. 179.
30lbid., p. 219.
between Philadelphia and Paoli, 21 miles west. These suburban trains were lo-
cal, that is, they made all station stops between their terminals.
On the New York Central route there were four express trains each
way between Chicago and New York. By 1870 Commodore Vanderbilt had consolidated
the New York Central with the Hudson River Railroad and was operating thru
trains from New York to Buffalo. 32 The Lake Shore and the Michigan Southern
had also been consolidated and operated the connecting trains from Buffalo to
Chicago without change, thus only one transfer was necessary between New York
and Chicago. 33 The total time required to make the trip between terminals had
by this time been reduced to about 31 hours. Trains run from New York to
Albany in 4 hours and 10 minutes with no intermediate stops. 34 This illustra-
tion points toward a general tendency at this time toward longer runs between
There were eight express trains in each direction over the Hudson
River Division besides an equal number of locals. A large suburban traffic
had already begun to develop within a radius of 15 miles of New York and re-
quired some 15 additional trains each way to handle this business within subur-
ban limits. 35
At this time there was from Boston also an important suburban traf-
fic which extended 21 miles on the Boston and Albany a3 far as Farmington.
There were seven suburban trains each way in this territory. 36
The varied activities of this decade extended into the next and still
other important changes in service and facilities came for the comfort and con-
venience of the traveling public.
31 Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, Aug., 1868, p. 121, 122.
32 Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, Sept., 1870, p. 127.
33 Ibid., p. 132.
S|lbid., p. 91.
35iMd. f p. 91.
^Ibid., p. 172. _____________
PASSENGER SERVICE AFTER THE WAR - 1870-1880
While this was a reconstruction period in American political and
comir.ercial life it was in railroad circles a period of extensive expansion in
the west and south and a period of betterments for the most part among the
older roads in the east. In the east the chief change in facilities offered
was that sleeping and drawing room cars were placed on all through trains.
At the beginning of this period the New York and Boston Express
Line still constituted the most important thru route between the two cities.
There were now three fast trains each way and the running time had been cut to
7 hours and 20 minutes on one of them. 37 In this period the New York and New
Haven Railroad Company obtained control of the Shore Line Division, 38 which was
the late New Haven, New London and Stonington Railway and which later in con-
nection with the old New York and New Haven line was to become the greatest
highway of steel between the important cities of New York and Boston. This
line was six miles shorter than the Great New York and Boston Express Line but
had not come into favor as yet with the public for thru travel. In 1871 there
were three thru trains ea3tbound and two westbound over this shore line. Their
running time was not yet as good as on the old Express Line as the fastest
train required 8^ hours to make the trip. 39
The following year the New York and New Haven expanded its system
and took the name of New York, New Haven and Hartford Railway which it has
retained. Its heaviest travel was still over the old Express Line^O but it
37 Apple ton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, Jan., 1872, p. 107.
38 Ibid., p. 108.
39 Ibid., p. 108.
^Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, July, 1873, p. 95.
was making the shore line service better in order to take traffic away from the
old line, part of which it did not own. It cut the running time of one of its
fast trains via the shore line to 8 hours at this time. 4 '- By the end of this
period another thru accommodation train had been put into service eastbound
and the fastest express train was running between terminals on a 6 hour and 45
minute schedule which was 35 minutes less than the best run on the old Express
After the close of the Civil VTar passenger service was very poor
south of the Ohic River. There were no large systems such as there were north
of the Ohio, and consequently it was a very laborious task to go any great
distance in the Southern States. At the beginning of this period one of the
best routes between New York and New Orleans was the "Great Southern Mail Route"
composed of many short lines. 43 It took 84 hours to make the trip by this route
and 88 hours by another route composed of the Selma, Rome and Dal ton Railway,
Virginia and Tennessee Railway, Jackson and Great Northern and others. 44 It is
only 1500 miles from New York to New Orleans but it took as long to cover this
distance as it did a few years later to travel the entire distance from the
Mississippi River to the Pacific Coast. The transcontinental lines are over
500 miles longer and in addition they cross the great Rocky Mountain grades.
During this period there was no marked development of large systems in the South
but some of the combination routes offered improved service. The Atlantic Coast
Line Fast Passenger Route offered service between New York and New Orleans in
41 Appleton*s Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, July, 1873, p. 96.
42 Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, Feb., 1879, p. 91, 92.
43 Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, Sept., 1870, p. 281.
44 Ibid., p. 268.
about 72 hours and operated Parlor Care and Pullman Palace Sleeping Cars
on its trains. 45
Between the Ohio River and New Orleans the service was somewhat
better. The Mobile and Ohio had Pullman service between Cairo and Mobile
and New Orleans with connections at the Ohio Elver with northern and eastern
cities. 46 There were fewer changes via this route than any other. "The Great
Jackson Route," later consolidated with the Illinois Central, offered service
similar to that of the Mobile and Ohio. 47
Although the first so-called transcontinental line, that of the
Union Pacific from the Missouri River to Ogden, Utah and the Central Pacific
from Ogden to San Francisco was officially opened in 1869, in so far as the
development of passenger schedules is concerned, this road may be considered to
be one of the products of the reconstruction age and hence to be considered
here. In 1870 there was one passenger train in each direction over this
route. It was an accommodation train all the way and required 102 hours to go
from Omaha to San Francisco. The fare from Omaha to Sacramento, the end of
the Central Pacific Railroad proper, was at this time $134.50 and from Chi-
cago $22 more. 48 This service was not improved to any extent until the fol-
lowing decade when the Overland Flyer wa3 put into service in addition to
the accommodation train. During the entire decade of the 70' s the schedule
wa3 shortened only 3 hours.
45 Appleton»s By. & Steam Navigation Guide, Feb., 1879, p. 212.
46 Ibid., p. 209.
47 Ibid., p. 207.
48 Appleton's By. & Steam Navigation Guide, Sept., 1870, p. 80, 238.
SCHEDULES DURING THE EXPANSION OF 1880-1890
Railway construction work was pushed harder during the 80' s than
during any other time in railroad history. In the year 1882 more than
11,000 miles of new line were put into operation. During the entire decade
there were approximately 70,000 miles of new line opened. A The magnitude
of this increase is more clearly seen when we consider that the total mileage
built between the beginning of railroading in 1830 and the year 1880 was a
little less than 100,000 miles.
The passenger routes already established by 1880 were not changed
to any great extent, but thousands of miles of new track were opened, and of
course passenger service was established on each line except in a few rare
cases on such roads as spurs built to limber camps or similar industries. The
fact that most of the new lines were built in undeveloped country was neces-
sarily accompanied by the fact that passenger traffic was very light at first,
and the typical time-tables on these new lines show two local trains in each
direction (on some very short branch lines perhaps only one train each way,
in many cases a mixed train) .
In the New England States the old Express Line still had the
balance of traffic in the early part of this decade. There were six express
trains and two accommodation trains westbound and six express trains and four
accommodation trains eastbound. The best run was made in 6 hours and 45
minutes. Some of the slower trains required as much as 10 hours. On the
Shore Line Division of the New Haven one schedule had been cut to 6 hours and
See Webb's Economics of Railroad Construction, p. 9.
41 minutes. By 1882 the famous Boston Limited was in service which ran
in two sections, one via the old New York and Boston Express Line, and the
other via the Shore Line. The running time of both trains was 6 hours and
15 minutes. 49
In this same year the New York and Chicago Limited was running
over the Pennsylvania between the two great terminals in 26 hours and 40
minutes. It was fully equipped with Pullman Palace, Parlor and Sleeping
In the west some of the notable examples of the expansion period
are the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul,
the Northern Pacific and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific. The Chicago,
Burlington and Quincy from a little system extending from Chicago to the
Mississippi River grew almost to its present mileage connecting Chicago with
St. Paul, Minneapolis, Denver, Kansas City, Omaha and St. Louis. Its service
expanded from three local trains each way between Chicago and Burlington,
Iowa 5 * to a service taking on transcontinental aspects between Chicago and
Denver with three fine trains each way between these two cities, one of them
making connection at Denver with the Denver and Rio Grande for Salt Lake
City and San Francisco. 52 The Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul extended its
service to Kansas City, Omaha and Aberdeen. Its line between Chicago and
the Twin Cities was already in operation. 53 The transcontinental line of the
Northern Pacific was opened with its first transcontinental express train in
each direction. This train ran from St. Paul to Portland and Tacoma and
49 Appleton' s Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, Jan., 1883, p. 52, 54.
SOlMd., p. 73.
51 Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, Feb., 1879, p. 184.
^Travelers' Official Guide, March. 1889, p. 400.
53 Ibid., p. 316-319.
carried Pullman Palace Sleeping Cars, Dining Car and Colonist Sleepers.
Berths were free in the Colonist sleepers. The scheduled running tin.e in
1889 was 88 hours between St. Paul and Portland. 54 The Rock Island System
extended its limits in much the same general way as the Burlington and by
1890 had reached Denver and Pueblo on the west, what is now Oklahoira on the
south, and the Twin Cities on the North. Two trains each way were operated
daily between the Missouri River terminals and Denver making connections at
the river with trains from and to Chicago over older lines of the company. 55
In 1880 the Rock Island advertised dining car service in a rather extensive and
impressive manner. On the overland route to California in connection with
other roads dining cars were operated on all express trains. They served
"The Best of Meals from the Bill of Fare for Seventy-five Cents". These cars
were "used solely for feeding the hungry". 5 **
Briefly, one may say that the great development of this period
is found for the most part in the Mississippi Valley, with extension in the
case of the Northern Pacific, to the Pacific Coast.
^Travelers' Official Guide, March, 1889, p. 343.
'Ibid., p. 314-315.
'International By. & Steam Navigation Guide, Aug., 1879, p. 112.
EFFECT OF CONSOLIDATION - 1890-1900
Several of our larger railway systems were consolidated into their
present proportions during this period. We have some notable instances of
railways which have built up their great network not so much by extending
the parent line by new construction, but by merging large numbers of small
lines once independent of each other. The Pennsylvania system is our best
example of this practice as it is composed of more than 200 small lines which
have been merged into a single system. 57 The effect of this consolidation
on passenger schedules is not so marked as would first be supposed. Under
traffic agreements thru trains are often operated between important terminals
before the lines are consolidated.
The number of thru trains between New York and Boston via the old
New York and Boston Express Line was increased from six to ten in each direc-
tion. The running time was little changed. On the Shore Line of the New
Haven some very radical changes were made. In 1890 there were six trains
in each direction and Uen years laterlwelve. The running time on the fastest
trains was cut to 5 hours. The Bay State Limited was inaugurated which was
and still is an all parlor car train, and there was an all -sleeping-car train
at midnight in each direction between New York and Boston. 58 Two other
famous trains coming into existence during this period were the Federal Express
and Colonial Express between Boston and Washington, D.C. These trains were
operated jointly by the New Haven and the Pennsylvania.
57 J ohnson & Van Metre, Principles of Railroad Transportation, p. 30.
58 See Official Guide of the Railways, July, 1900, for New York, New
Haven and Hartford Railroad.
On the New York Central the New York-Chicago trains were not
increased. The famous Lake Shore Limited, the New York Central's first
exces3-fare train was put into service during this period. Its running time
was 24 hours even, as against the New York and Chicago Limited 1 s time of 24
hours and 45 minutes. The time of the other thru trains was somewhat mors
than this being 30 to 35 hours. 59 The Pennsylvania did not increase its
number of Chicago-New York trains either, but the Pennsylvania Limited which
was at first an excess fare train between New York and Pittsburgh only was
made an excess fare train the entire distance. The road had one other train
for first class sleeping car passengers only. The running time of trains on
this road was kept balanced with the New York Central's time. 6 ^
Between Chicago and St. Louis we have some very interesting changes.
The Chicago and Alton had four trains each way. In 1890 the best one had
a running schedule of 8% hours for the 282 miles. During the nineties the
Alton Limited, the Famous Red Train, was put into service with its fast sched-
ule of 7 hours and 44 minutes. 61 The Wabash increased its trains from 2 to 4
in each direction between Chicago and St. Louis and cut the running time
from 9 hours and 20 minutes to 7 hours and 51 minutes on the best trains. 62
The Illinois Central secured its present short line between these cities and
transferred its Diamond Special from the old route via Decatur and Vandal ia
to the Springfield line. The schedule was thus reduced from 10 hours and
20 minutes to 6 hours. On the short line 4 trains were operated in each
59 See New York Central & Hudson River Railroad in Official Guide of the
Railways, July, 1900.
fpSee Pennsylvania Railroad in Officii. Guide of the Railways, July, 1900.
61 See Chicago and Alton Railroad in Official Guide of the Railways, July,
°*See Wabash Railroad in Official Guide of the Railways, July, 1900.
bt5 See Illinois Central Railroad in Official Guide of the Railways, July, 1930
On the great transcontinental route between Chicago and San Fran-
cisco over the Chicago and North Western and Union Pacific System there were
as yet only two trains in each direction. The Overland Flyer became the
famous Overland Limited. 64 Its running time was reduced from 874- hours to
72 3/4 hours between Chicago and the Golden Gate terminal. The Santa Fe
operated one train in each direction over its transcontinental line between
Chicago and San Francisco. During this decade its schedule was reduced from
114^ hours to 94 hours. 6 ^
The Illinois Central operated two trains in each direction shorten-
ing the schedules from 29^ to 26 hours between Chicago and New Orleans- 66
The Richmond and Danville Railroad became the Southern Railway.
It still maintained its double train service in each direction between Wash-
ington and Atlanta on 18 hour schedules. 67
The Chicago and North Western increased its service between Chicago
and Minneapolis-St . Paul from two to four trains in each direction. The
North Western Limited was one of the new trains. Schedules were reduced from
14 hours tc 11 and 12 hours. 68
°^See Chicago and North Western and Union Pacific Railroads in Official
Guide of the Railways, July, 1900.
6 &See Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad in Official Guide of the
Railways, July, 1900.
66 See Illinois Central Railroad in Official Guide of the Railways, July, 190(1
67 See Southern Railway in Official Guide of the Railways, July, 1900.
68 See Chicago and North Western Railway in Official Guide of the Rail-
ways, July, 1900.
DEVELOPMENT OF SPECIAL SERVICE - 1900-1910
The development of this decade was chiefly along the lines of
special service. There was a marked increase in the total volume of passenger
traffic over the country in general, but the great demand of the public was
for Pullman service and was answered by the railroads in the form of all-
steel Pullman Car trains with excess fare in some cases for excessive speed.
More elaborate passenger terminals were provided in the larger cities for
the comfort of the traveling public.
On the Shore Line of the New Haven the running time of the fastest
train was still 5 hours. The Knickerbocker Limited, another all-parlor-car
train on a 5 hour schedule, was added as was also the Merchants' Limited, a
train of similar equipment. 69
This period brought with it on June 15, 1902, the Twentieth Century
Limited between Chicago and New York,*^ the most famous train ever operated
in America and perhaps the most famous on the globe. The train was first
made a 20 hour train, but in 1904 the time was reduced to 18 hours- By tra-
veling the 978 miles in 18 hours it averaged 54 1/3 miles per hour for this
great distance. The advent of this train marks a new epoch in railroad his-
tory, as there was no long distance train anywhere in the world that could
compare with it previous to this time. Of course it was an extra-fare
all -Pullman-Car train right from the beginning. The New York Central also
°*0fficial Guide of the Railways, July, 191C, p. 208.
70 See Railroad Gazette, June 6, 1902, p. 414.
added another extra-fare train, Lake Shore Number Six, which ran on a 22 hour
schedule from Chicago to Mew York. 7 * In 1S10 this road operated 18 trains
upon which excess-fare was charged between certain or all of the points at
which the train was scheduled to stop. In addition to these there were trains
consisting of Pullnan cars only upon which no excess fare was charged other
than the ordinary Pullman fare.
The Pennsylvania added materially to its special service. On the
same day the New York Central and the Pennsylvania System established compet-
ing twenty-hour trains between Chicago and New York. The Pennsylvania train
was called the Pennsylvania Special. 72 Its route was nearly 70 miles shorter
than that of the Twentieth Century Limited but it had greater obstacles to
overcome in some other respects. Its difficulties included somewhat heavier
grades and curves besides the trouble of ferrying between Jersey City and the
23rd St. Station on Manhattan Island. The latter impediment has been re-
moved by the completion and use of the Hudson River Tunnels to the new pas-
senger terminal on Manhattan Island. The Pennsylvania Special likewise be-
came an 18 hour train in 1904. In all, the Pennsylvania operated 4 extra- fare
all-Pullman trains each way between Chicago and New York besides three others
in each direction. 73 The Manhattan Limited has become a very prominent train
among the list of service de-luxe trains. The Pennsylvania also established
the ?4 Hr. St. Louis and 24 Hr. New Yorker, another extra-fare train between
New York and the other great central west metropolis. 74 In 1910 this great
7 *0f field Guide of the Railways, July, 1910, p. 287.
72 See Railroad Gazette, June 6, 1902, p. 414.
73 0fficia^ Guide of the Railways, July, 1910, p. 482.
74 Ibid., p. 481.
trunk line operated on various parts of its system 13 trains of the extra-
fare type besides several others of all-Pullman equipment.
The two 18 hour trains of the Pennsylvania and New York Central have
had so:!.e interesting experiences during their history. In 1908 it appears
that the 18-hour Pennsylvania Special ran so slowly that it got in the way
of other trains. This we learn from a Chicago press despatch. 7 ^ The incident
which gave rise to this statement was the running of a special train of 4 cars
carrying a theatrical party from Pittsburgh to Chicago in 7 hours and 42
minutes. This speed is almost exactly a mile a minute for the whole trip of
470 miles. The Twentieth Century Limited was known once while running late to
run 133 miles between Elkhart, Indiana, and Toledo, averaging 70.9 miles per
hour. ^ TJhoff icially it has been found by stop watches to be traveling be-
tween mile posts in 40 seconds or 90 miles an hour while running along the
Hudson River. 77
Between Chicago and St. Louis the extra-fare trains were not estab-
lished as would be expected, but some very luxurious trains were operated
in spite of this fact. On the Alton very little change was made during this
period except that the Alton Limited was furnished with entirely new equipment.
The Wabash established its Banner Limited, a very fine train, running on the
standard schedule of 7 hours and 45 minutes. In order to avert speed wars
between these two cities the four roads interested have made 7 hours and 40
minutes the minimum time to be used by all passenger trains. During this
period the Chicago and Eastern Illinois opened its Chicago-St. Louis Line and
^See Railroad Gazette, May 8, 1908, p. 649.
76 Railroad Gazette, July 21, 1905, p. 17 (G.N. 8.)
77 See also Railroad Gazette, June 23, 1905, p. 718.
ro See Railroad Gazette, Sept. 1, 1905, p. 204.
in 1910 was operating three well equipped fast trains in each direction on
the standard schedules.
On the great transcontinental route the Overland Limited became
a train for sleeping car passengers only. Its schedule was reduced by 1910
to 72-£ hours westbound and 71 hours and 40 minutes eastbound between Chicago
and San Francisco. 8 ^ The famous Los Angeles Limited was a product of this
age with its exceedingly fast schedule of 68^ hours westbound and 7l£ hours
eastbound between Chicago and Los Angeles.
About 1902 there was a newspaper story that the Chicago and North
Western, which handles these trains fron: Chicago to Omaha, would establish
temporary telephone communications in one or more cars of its limited trains
while such trains were standing at stations. It was 3aid by some that this
statement was wholly poetical; that is to say, it was based on hope and
imagination. 82 But the hope and imagination were surely realized for in 1917
there were 20 limited trains equipped with telephones in the observation cars
for use of the North Western' s patrons while they waited to leave the Chicago
The Santa Fe added its prominent train, the California Limited, be-
tween Chicago and San Francisco with a schedule of 86 3/4 hours.
The Illinois Central started its "Seminole Limited" between Chicago
and Jacksonville, Florida, on its 34 hour schedule. 84 This has become the
favorite train between Chicago-St. Louis and the tropical resorts of Florida.
79 0fficial Guide of the Railways, July, 1910, p. 870.
SOlbid., p. 737.
8 |lbid., p. 736.
SZSee Railroad Gazette, Feb. 21, 1902, p. 134.
^Official Guide of the Railways, July, 1910, p. 914.
^Ibid., p. 1031.
The Southern Railway added two trains in each direction between
Washington and Atlanta among them the New York and New Orleans Limited.
These il lustrations indicate the large amount of attention given
this branch of the passenger service at this time.
'Official Guide of the Railways, July, 1910, p. 1126.
PRESENT TENDENC IES - 1910-1918
While this period does not represent a full decade up to the time
this thesis is written, it does, however, contain some marked characteristics
of its own, which put it in a class by itself. It represents a continuation
of the development of special service followed by a marked curtailment of
special service and facilities, partly on the initiative of the railroads
themselves after the United States entered the war and partly on the initia-
tive of the Government which has taken control of operation with the
Director General in charge.
The most notable change on the New Haven was the inauguration of the
Boston-Pittsburgh-St. Loui3 Express between these terminals solid without
change. 86 This train is operated jointly by the New York, New Haven and Hart-
ford and the Pennsylvania. The service of this train was made possible by the
completion of the Pennsylvania Terminal on Manhattan Island, and the building
of the New York Connecting Railway connecting the terminal with the New Haven
via the Hell Gate Bridge Route. This is an extra-fare train between certain
points. The Federal and Colonial Express trains between Boston and Washing-
ton, previously operated via Harlem River, are now operated thru the Manhattan
Terminal of the Pennsylvania.
In 1911 the Michigan Central which for many years has been known
as a "fast track" placed on schedule its new train "The Detroiter" between
Detroit and New York. It is scheduled over the Canadian Division from Windsor
86 0fficial Guide of the Railways, Dec, 1917, p. 481
to Bridgeburg, 226 miles, in 3 hours and 40 minutes or a rate of 61.7 miles
per hour. This is claimed to be the fastest regular schedule in the world
for a distance of over 200 miles and so far as can be found from the records
the claim is well founded. The train makes one stop of 5 minutes during this
time; and if we deduct this stop, the schedule speed is over 63 miles per
hour. It is interesting to compare this record with that of the Great Western
Railway of England which has trains scheduled 194 miles at 56.7 miles an hour.
By 1917 the number of trains upon which extra-fare was charged be-
tween certain or all points on the New York Central had been increased to
thirty. In addition to this number there were a few other trains consisting
of Pullman cars only. 88 This situation on the New York Central impresses
upon us the fact that American railroads (especially those in the densely
populated sections of the country) are fast developing a large traffic of a
class above that of the standard first class service.
Another characteristic of this period is the fact that it has not
been one in which schedules have been shortened as has been the case in
previous decades. Instead there has been some tendency in the opposite dir-
ection. Between New York and Chicago the schedule of the Twentieth Century
Limited has been lengthened from 18 hours to 20 hours, the same running time
which was given to it when first put into service in 1902. 89 The 18-hour
Pennsylvania Special was taken off and the Broadway Limited took its place
running on a 20 hour schedule. In order to facilitate the better movement
of freight traffic the Broadway Limited has beer: discontinued at the request
w See Railway Age Gazette, April 28, 1911, p. 1004.
88 See Official Guide of the Railways, Dec, 1917, p. 250, 251.
89 Ibid., p. 250.
90 0fficial Guide of the Railways, Oct., 1915, p. 456.
of the General Operating Committee for the eastern roads. The Pennsylvan-
ia's fastest train between the metropolitan cities is now the Manhattan Lim-
ited making the trip in 22 hours.
Because of the heavy burden the Pennsylvania must carry due to its
large allotment of war order freight its passenger service has been upset more
than that of any other road. This road has been forced to take off many
trains, including not only local but some of its long-distance, extra-fare
trains. On January 6, 1918, there was a reduction of 104 weekday trains and
51 Sunday trains. 92 The Pennsylvania reports that these reductions amount
to an aggregate saving of 2,708,212 train miles annually. 93
The war has also left its footprints on Chicagp-St. Louis service.
Between these cities there were 15 trains each way daily over the four roads
serving these cities. The Director General has reduced this service to 9
trains each way daily and has made local trains out of some of the previous
fast trains. 94
In the transcontinental service the Overland Limited has been
made an extra-fare train on a 65 hour and 10 minute schedule between Chicago
and San Francisco. 95 It is the only daily extra-fare train between Chicago
and the Pacific Coast. The Los Angeles Limited has become an all-Pullman-
Car train. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe run their Santa Fe De Luxe once
a week in the winter which is the extra-fare section of the California
^Railway Age Gazette, Dec. 7, 1917, p. 1052.
92 Eailway Age, Jan. 4, 1918, p. 91.
93 Eailway Age, Feb. 1, 1918, p. 286.
94 Railway Age, March 8, 1918, p. 521.
95 0fficial Guide of the Railways, Dec, 1917, p. 764.
Limited. 96 By reference to the Official Railway Guide it ia found that the
only other daily Extra-fare train west of the Mississippi River besides the
Overland Limited is the Shasta Limited of the Southern Pacific between San
Francisco and Portland, Oregon. 9 ?
The transcontinental service between Chicago and the Pacific coast
has been much increased since the completion of the Chicago, Milwaukee and
St. Paul's Pacific Coast extension over which they row operate the Olympian
and Colunbian trains on their own rails all the way. These trains cover the
distance between Chicago and Seattle in about 72 hours. 98 They pass over
the long stretch of electrified line over the Rocky Mountains, and the
electrification of the mountain grades has been used as an effective means
of advertising to build up a traffic for these trains.
Other well known and important transcontinental trains are the
Oriental Limited of the Great Northern, the North Coast Limited of the
Northern Pacific, the Golden State Limited of the Rock Island, the Oregon-
Washington Limited of the Union Pacific System and the Scenic Limited of the
Gould Lines .
On November 16, 1916, the Illinois Central put the new Panama Lim-
ited into service between Chicago and New Orleans on its 23 hour schedule. 99
This is an All-Pullman train and compares very favorably with many of the
extra-fare trains although it is not one itself. It is probably the finest
train operated between the northern and southern states.
It is thus seen how the special service which has become very firm-
ly established in the East is rather slowly but surely being taken up by
roads_in_the Central and Far West.
96 0fficial Guide of the Railways, Dec, 1917, p. 1001.
97 Ibid., p. 828.
9 8lbid., p. 737.
"See Illinois Central Railroad in Official Guide of the Rys.,Nov., 1916.
SOME PHASES OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF SECOND
There are several phases of the passenger service which remain to be
considered. These phases deserve mention since in certain sections of the
country they are holding a place of increasing importance in the passenger
In the states of the Central West east of the Mississippi River, in
the New England States and in the Pacific Coast States there has grown up a
rather extensive network of electric lines. These lines have undertaken
to furnish a service of a local nature for short distances out from cities.
Within certain limits, i.e., on an average within an hour's ride of the city,
people wish to travel to the city frequently and moreover at all hours of the
day. Because of inherent properties of the steam railway's power system it
is in general unprofitable to steam roads to furnish this frequent service
until it becomes of such proportions as to warrant the establishment of a
Electric railways are able to operate small train units economically,
and as a result it has been found profitable in many instances to furnish
a cheap, frequent, electric service to these people. The prime motive of
these travelers is to make a cheap and quick trip. Hence their accommodations
are of a character far inferior to those of the traveler on a long-distance,
service -de -luxe train, but to them the electric line service is much more con-
venient. It is not at all uncommon to find electric lines, which connect
two or more cities 10 to 75 miles apart, offering an hourly service in each
direction between 5:00 a.m. and midnight. In more thickly populated section*
this service will increase to half-hour service and in extreme cases will
take the frequency of street car service.
On the Pacific Electric Railway, the largest electric railway sy3tem
in the world, there are 89 trains daily in each direction between Los Angeles
and Pasadena, California, a distance of 14 miles. This system has & total
mileage of 613 in Southern California and has a total of 2,600 scheduled trains
daily between various points on its lines. 100 Part of the system is four
tracked to take care of its heavy traffic.
Some of the more important electric systems are attempting to build
up a long distance traffic as competitors of the steam lines. The McEinley
Lines in Illinois have established a sleeping car service between Peoria
and St. Louis. 101 Many of their limited trains carry well equipped parlor
The Government has requested electric lines to reduce their sched-
ules to save fuel consumed in power houses. This war measure has caused a
reduction of as much as forty per cent in their service. Special equipment
has for the most part been taken off.
The growth of suburbs around the larger cities such as New York,
Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh has created a demand on the
railroads to move a large traffic into the city from the suburbs in the morn-
ing and from the city back to the suburbs in the evening. To accommodate this
traffic the railroads have in several instances established a very extensive
100 0fficial Guide of the Railways, Dec, 1917, p. 857.
101 Ibid., p. 1024. •
suburban service. Here as in the case of electric lines the service desired
is that of cheap, quick ar.d frequent transportation. Second class equipment
is used for the most part.
Chicago has a typical suburban service. The Illinois Central on its
lake shore line has the largest traffic with a total of 275 trains. The
Chicago and North Western is second with a total of about 225 trains on its
three divisions out of the city. Other roads operating a suburban service
are the Burlington with 90 trains, the Rock Island with 80, the New York
Central with 40, the Pennsylvania (Ft. Wayne Route) with 25, the Wabash with
10 and the Grand Trunk with 8 trains .* 02 This service has been one of contin-
ual growth during the last forty years and bids fair to become still larger
since the population of the suburbs is growing rapidly.
The excursion business has been fostered by many American railways
whose lines reach prominent resorts, and they have built up a considerable
traffic of this kind. The Pennsylvania has a large excursion business to the
New Jersey seaside resorts including Atlantic City. The Chicago and North
Western directs the attention of those whose favorite sport is fishing to the
lake region in Northern Wisconsin and Michigan. Extra equipment is furnished
on all regular trains from Chicago and Milwaukee to the lakes daring the
summer and in addition a special train called the "Northern Lakes' Special"
is run daily from Chicago from the middle of June to the first of September^ 3
This is a luxuriously equipped train of Pullmans which leaves the metropoli-
tan terminal at a convenient hour in the evening and by morning has arrived
in the "Fisherman's Paradise".
102 See Official Railway Guide of Chicago, May 19, 1917, pages 33, 34, 42,
43, 54 16, 21, 61, 64, 68.
iC^For schedule of this train see Chicago & North Western Ry. "Complete
Passenger Schedules", Aug., 1917, p. 27.
Once a week in the sumicer the Chicago and North Western and the
Union Pacific System offer a special train for people patronizing their
Personally Conducted Tours to and through the Yellowstone National Park.
This is likewise an all Pullman car train and is operated as a section of
either the Los Angeles Limited or the Oregon-Washington Limited.* 04
The impressive feature of the modern excursion businesa is that
it is tending to lead away from the old form of excursion with its dirty and
dusty cars that were only used once or twice a year and packed with people
like immigrant trains when they were U3ed. The new forms of excursions are
such as those mentioned which offer service equ^l to, if not better than, the
regular first class service.
AU *See "Summer Tours" distributed by the Department of Tours, Chicago,
Union Pacific and North Western Line.
In conclusion, we find the development of passenger schedules in
America has been of two general kinds. One kind of development has been
that of the number of schedules in effect. The other kind of development
has been that of an increase of average speed or a decrease of the time re-
quired to operate trains between specified terminals.
It has been shown that as new railroad lines have been built and
opened for operation passenger service has been established. As a result
we have had in the total number of schedules in effect a continual increase
simultaneous with the increase of mileage operated. Ir. addition there has
been an increase of what we may call schedule density. Schedule density
is the number of schedules in effect daily over a specified operating unit
of main line, usually a district. An illustration of this latter phase of
development is found on the New York, New Haven & Hartford between New York
and New Haven. In 1850 the schedule density on these 72 miles of railroad was
eleven. On this same road in 1917 the schedule density was 65 if we disre-
gard all suburban schedules and those to, from, or between intermediate points.
If these latter schedules were taken into account, the above density figures
would be more than doubled. An increase in schedule density is commensurate
with the increase of population in a section of the country served by a rail-
road, provided that this railroad connects places between which there is an
effective demand for passenger transportation. It is true the demand
for transportation may be created by the railroad itself, but in so
far as schedule density is concerned the effect is the same as if an
increase in population had brought about the increased demand. It is to be
expected then, that those railroads having a strategic location will enjoy
an increase of schedule density as the population increases in the sections
of the country served by those roads. The increase of schedules due to the
opening of new mileage is becoming negligible with possible exceptions in the
Far West, but the increase of schedule density is almost unlimited in it»
The other kind of development, that of increased average speed, has
certainly been the more spectacular of the two, but whether or not it has
been the more important economically and socially is another question. The
shortening of schedules between large terminals has undoubtedly played an im-
portant part in the development of our commercial life. It appears that the
most strenuous efforts in the development of high average speeds have been
made by the railroads primarily to accommodate business men. This has been
especially true of the 18 and 20 hour service between Chicago and New York.
It is of interest to follow the development in average speed from
early days to the present time on a few of the typical and best passenger
routes. The tables here included give the average speed of the fastest
schedule only, for different years between the terminals named. We note that
on each of these representative through passenger routes the average speed
has been approximately doubled during the period of years shown.
NEW YORK CENTRAL RAILROAD
Chicago- New York
, Average Speed in \
' Miles per Hour
: 48.5 :
CHICAGO, UNION PACIFIC & NORTH WESTERN LINE
Average Speed in
• Miles per Hour *
: 33.0 :
CHICAGO & ALTON RAILROAD
Average Speed in .'
Miles per Hour J
i 1 A
♦Figures for 1858 and 1870 are from Chicago to East St. Louis only.
On the accompanying plate is a graph constructed from the contents
of Table I. An important fact emphasized by the graph is that there has been
a decrease of average speed since the year 1910. A graph for the Pennsylvania
between these same terminals would show similar facts because it has been
from an early date a very strong competitor of the New York Central and has
kept its service and schedules balanced with theirs as closely as possible.
On these two passenger routes we find the greatest extremes of average speed
over long distances. There are examples of higher average speeds for short
distances. For instance, on the Royal Blue Line there is a train scheduled
between Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, and Jersey City, a distance of 79.4 miles,
in 1 hour and 18 minutes or an average of 61 miles an hour, but this distance
is only one-twelfth of the distance between Chicago and New York.
The average speed in transcontinental service, Table II, has been
held at a low figure. The primary reason for this fact is unquestionably
the severity of grades and curves thru the Rocky and Sierra Nevada Mountains.
In so far as roadbed and equipment are concerned this line is not excelled
even by the eastern trunk lines. It is also possible that there has not
been the same pressing demand of business men for fast transportation between
Chicago and San Francisco that there has been, for example, between Chicago
and New York. We observe, nevertheless, that the Overland Limited "saves a
full business day" the same as the Twentieth Century Limited.
For some time there has been little increase in average speed in
Chicago-St. Louis service as shown by Table III. Moreover, the present
average speed is relatively low. The question naturally arises, why is the
average speed of the fastest trains between these important terminals so low?
The reason is not because of grade or curve interference as is true on the
transcontinental lines, nor is it because of poor roadbed and equipment for
these are of the best. These roads are double tracked and this fact reduces
to a minimum the interference of opposing traffic.
All the competing roads except the Illinois Central operate their
"noon" trains in each direction on a ? hour and 40 to 50 minute schedule.
Furthermore every one of these trains makes at least 10 and some make as
high as 17 stops between terminals. The "midnight" stopless trains are given
the same running time as the "noon" trains. If a train is operated between
terminals only 290 miles apart and makes at least 10 stops and another train
is operated between the same terminals in the same length of time and makes
no intermediate stops, it is evident at least that no attempt is made to
maintain a high average speed for the stopless train. The reason is probably
that travelers must spend the night in transit, and it is a matter of
indifference to them whether they arrive at terminals at 6, 7, or 8 o'clock
in the morning. The Illinois Central trains do not leave terminals at the
same hours of the day as on other roads but this road observes the same minimum
running time. As a matter of fact the Alton Limited or Banner Limited could
easily make the trip in 7 hours, at an average speed of approximately 40 miles
per hour. This figure is relatively low when higher average speeds between
these cities are known to be both possible and practical. To prove this fact
we need only to note that the Chicago and Eastern Illinois operates a mail
train with no accommodations for passengers on a 6^ hour schedule in each
direction over the 290 miles by this route. The only explanation that can be
given for the low average speed in Chicaep -St . Louis service is simply that
the roads agree that they will not operate passenger trains between these
cities on a schedule less than 7 hours and 40 minutes. Business men do not
urge the establishment of faster schedules between Chicago and St. Louis
because of the proximity of the two cities. It is not a question with them
of saving a business day if trains were operated on a 6| or 7 hour schedule
instead of a 7 3/4 hour schedule . Under present conditions they can leave
either city in the evening and arrive in the other city in time for the next
day's business and this accommodation is all they ask. If they desire to
travel during the day, in so far as business hours are concerned, that day
is lost no matter whether they make the trip in 6^, 7, or 7 3/4 hours.
It is well to consider the circumstances which have made higher
average speeds possible and at the same time reasonably safe. There are at
least two important reasons: first, an increase in the number of miles between
consecutive stops; and second, better roadbed and equipment. It is outside
the scope of this thesis to show in detail how the distance between stops
has been increased for express trains. That there has been such development,
however, needs no proof. The fact that express trains today run a greater
distance without stopping than they formerly did enables them to make a
higher average speed without increasing the maximum speed at any point, other
things being equal.
Simultaneous with the demand for faster trains with fewer stops
has been the demand for finer equipment with which to increase the comfort
of those making long journeys. The railroads have complied with this demand
by furnishing the better equipment. At the same time this equipment lends
itself readily to safe operation at higher maximum speeds. The tendency
toward greater mechanical perfection in locomotives, braking equipment,
automatic block signals, and a better roadbed have made possible the operation
of trains with great safety at much higher maximum speeds than formerly were
practical. When we consider together the increase in distance between stops
and the increase in maximum practical speeds we then account for the marked
increase in average speeds. While each of the tables show that there ha3 been
approximately 100$ increase in average speed on that line, one must bear
in mind that these tables can not be compared one with the other because
of different operating conditions. The average number of stops per mile and
the average grade conditions between terminals have a controlling influence
on the average speed, We should note that for the present between New York
and Chicago an apparent practical speed limit has been reached, and that now
there is a slight reaction. After a thorough trial the 18-hour trains were
pronounced unsafe, especially during the winter, and were taken off at the
request of the traveling public. It does not seem that the highest possible
average speed has been reached, but it does seem that with our present system
of train operation a practical maximum speed limit has been reached.
The demand of the American public for finer equipment and facilities
has resulted in the development of a large traffic of a class above that of
the standard first class. This traffic patronizes the special service or
service de-luxe trains. We have developed this super-class to a greater extent
than any other people. In all other important countries the tendency is for
traffic to move not to the service de-luxe class but from higher to lower
classes. The situation in America has resulted in an increased proportion
of service de-luxe trains which are, as a rule, handled on fast schedules.
A passenger supplied with a first-class ticket but not with special service
tickets may be compelled to wait at New York or Boston several hours for a
train which will accommodate him to Chicago. While he waits, as many as four
to six trains may leave for Chicago and he is not entitled to ride upon any of
them because they have no accommodations for coach passengers.
The war has put a temporary check on the advancement of special
service schedules and trains, but this present curtailment is not expected
to be permanent. Service de-luxe trains such as the Pennsylvania's Broadway
Limited have been taken off not because there is no longer a demand for them,
but because these trains interfere more than any other passenger trains with
the operation of freight trains. The necessity for prompt movement of war
materials demands that every action practical be taken to facilitate the
movement of freight trains. To reduce the interference of high speed passen-
ger trains with freight movements it has therefore been necessary to elimi-
nate the fastest schedules and to lengthen others.
It has become the custom over the entire country to operate either
observation parlor or observation drawing room cars on all trains of any
importance. Many roads are now temporarily setting aside part or all of their
parlor, club, and dining cars. The purpose of this action is to reduce the
number of trains and cars to the number absolutely necessary to carry the
passengers so as to release locomotives and train crews for freight service.
The action is strictly a war measure. All kinds of special service equip-
ment will no doubt be placed back in service after the war.
In general the growing demand of America's traveling public for
passenger transportation over long distances has brought about an increase
in the number of schedules, density of schedules, distance between stops,
average speed, and maximum speed. Concurrent with this development is that
of equipment and special services. As a result the railroads of the United
States ha-ve developed the finest and most elaborate thru passenger service
to be found.
Official Guile of the Railways and Steair. Navigation Lines of the United State
Porto Rico, Canada, Mexico and Cuba.
Appleton's Railway and Steam Navigation Guide.
Johnson and Van Metre, Principles of Railroad Transportation.
Pathfinder Railway Guide.
Travelers' Official Guide of the Railways of the United States and Canada.
American Railway Guide.
Official Railway Guide of Chicago.
Johnson and Huebner, Railroad Traffic and Rates, Vol. II.
International Railway and Steam Navigation Guide.
Webb's Economics of Railroad Construction.
Standard Code of Train Rules of the American Railway Association.
"Complete Passenger Schedules" Chicago & North Western Railway.
"Summer Tours" Dept. of Tours, Chicago, Union Pacific and North Western Line.